First off, if anyone does wander here from The Guardian, please visit my Buddhism site at About.com. Thanks!
Now for the rest o’ y’all: I had an invitation in my inbox this morning to write an essay about the Dalai Lama for the Guardian “comment is free” site, and here it is. Written in a rush this morning. I’m afraid to read it. At least, I wish they hadn’t picked up that awful photo from About.com. If they’d asked, I would have sent them another one. Like maybe somebody else’s.
This has truly been Dalai Lama day, as this morning I also finished another essay about him for About.com, more of a bio. Today is the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the sequence of events that led to the Dalai Lama’s exile from Tibet (see Kundun). Like anything else Tibetan, writing about it requires stringing together at least five prepositional phrases. Oh, well.
I’m sorry to leave this site hanging. I’m having a crazy day, with things getting published and unpublished. I may have more to say later.
I will only comment briefly on Steve Benen’s post on the Right’s outraged surprise at President Obama’s stem cell decision. The Right is acting as if Obama had promised not to mess with Bush’s stem cell policy, but as Steve says, Obama clearly said during the campaign that he would change it just as he did change it.
I don’t think they are really surprised. I think it’s just part of their feigned outrage shtick. Utterly phony.
Update: I’ve written in the past about why I think embryonic stem cell research is moral and stopping it out of some rigid absolutist position is immoral. But if you want to see what is self-evidently wrong with it, see “Vetoing Henry” by Laurie Strongin in the July 23, 2006 Washington Post.
“The absolute position, when isolated, omits human details completely. Doctrines, including Buddhism, are meant to be used. Beware of them taking life of their own, for then they use us.” — Robert Aitken Roshi, The Mind of Clover